Yes, because technically they are schismatic. They believe in the Catholic Church yet are not the Catholic Church.
From an Orthodox p.o.v., technically the whole RCC (including it's dissidents) are "schismatic." In the end, that is all that matters, for us at least.
However, from the RC p.o.v., the matter is not as straight forward. I know at least just after the "Lefebvre consecrations" in the summer of '88, there were a few canonists in the RCC who were willing to stick their necks out on behalf of the SSPX, drawing a distinction between their "disobedience" and actual schism.
From a nitty gritty, realist Orthodox p.o.v., this seems to be a difference that makes no difference - for while the SSPX does commemorate JP II in their Masses and liturgical services, the truth is that they have not only a different spiritual world view than the Pope of Rome, but they also do not commune with the same sacraments (as a principle, no one affiliated with the SSPX or similar traditionalist groups will, under any circumstances, celebrate or actively participate in the New Mass or new sacramental rites of the '69 missal). If a party will not do such, they do not view such rites as simply being "unfortunate" or "inferior in asthetic qualities", but obviously as being somehow heterodox (and there is a great deal of material published by the SSPX to this effect.)
That to me sounds like a real break. Now, who is to blame in that situation is something ultimatly for the RC's to figure out. Unfortunately, RC ecclessiology doesn't allow much opportunity for principled dissent from an erring Pope (since as time marched forward, the claims of Rome became more and more grandiose.) It's to the point now that you have RC neo-cons extend Papal authority to the point of rendering the Pope an unerring oracle.
They believe in the Catholic Church yet are not the Catholic Church.
Well, I think in this regard the "sedevecantists" are a little more consistant. According to some RC authorities (like Robert Bellarmine), it is possible for a Pope to apostatize, and thus lose his office (since a non-Catholic cannot "occupy the Chair of Peter"). There is some latent/cautious/speculative sedevecantism within the SSPX (at least the feeling that it's possible a future Ecumenical Council will declare the Popes from Paul VI onward to be heretics and annul their acts), but officially they recognize JP II.
In either case, they could argue (with some wiggle room at least in pre-Vatican I papism) that the current Pope is either an apostate or is headed in that direction, without ignoring the idea of papal infallibility. Of course, this begs the question (in the Orthodox mind) of just what good this doctrine is anyway (since it doesn't apply it seems if the Pope is a heretic, which is the only case he'd "define" a wrong doctrine to begin with!).
Well, to be fair, Orthodoxy also believes in an infallible Church. These people do too, and they believe Rome is the Church, ergo...
Of course it's an entirely different situation though, and precisely because we do not identify "the Church" with an individual (which of course makes no sense since the very word "ekklessia" demands a plurality of persons, the assembly of those called out of this world for the purpose of salvation). It is the very personalization (as a rule, and not simply as a prophetic charism) of this kind of "God's mouthpiece" status which has caused Roman Catholicism to become more and more errant with time.
Seems simplistic to me but can't articulate why. To most people, a Pope with an infallible teaching office and modernity are diametrically opposed. (American culture was and is very anti-Catholic partly because of this.) Yet Vatican II and its aftermath happened. That is the official Catholic Church in practice and the SSPX are not. And there is always the witness of Alexis Khomiakov and Fr Seraphim (Rose), both of whom I've read - why the Renaissance, 'Reformation', 'Enlightenment' and today's secular humanism? And why from and in the West?
I'd speculate that these things happened in part for reasons having nothing to do with what was inherrant to the western psyche, and reasons which very much were a part of the western man's developing "character."
The essential heresy of the west, is it's belief in progress as applied to Divine Revelation. This, combined with the papist "magisterial church", which became increasingly centered on one man (the Pope), created a religion which believed it "knew better" than either the Fathers or the Holy Apostles for that matter. Though many blame Cardinal Newman for the error of "development of doctrine", he was only putting his finger on a type of thinking which had long existed in the west, the seeds of which began even before the rise of scholasticism.
It was only a matter of time before those who were not clerics or heirarchs would tap into this "progressive" mindset, and find they had not use for the Church at all.
I don't presume to speak for Mr Zollars but Catholicism sees the Orthodox Churches as 'in schism' but not personally 'schismatic'. Because the SSPX were Catholic to begin with, they are seen as schismatics.
This is a differntiation which to my thinking, makes no difference. I for example, have quite deliberatly abandoned Roman Catholicism. I know many "born and raised" Orthodox, who are not simpletons, and know quite clearly why they are not Roman Catholics. It seems to me that the speculative/culpability game is played mainly by those papists who simply hate their own traditionalists, but want to play nice (for political reasons, since they have no other way of subjegating the Orthodox to papal supremecy) with the Orthodox because simply put, that is all that will "work" right now.
Indeed, I have a hard time thinking the Patriarch of Jerusalem doesn't have any clue as to what separates him from the RCC. If anything, the contemporary RC approach is insulting.
One could indeed, just as easily argue that the "Lefebvrists" are where they are, because the average rank and file "SSPX'er" has been terribly scandalized and deeply wounded by the mainstream RCC...unless Rome thinks these are simply a bunch of heathen in Christian drag who do what they do to be trouble makers and willful. On the contrary, I think it is quite clear that they are "the way they are" precisely because of Rome's imprudence.
Given this, it all strikes me as being very political, and extremely dishonest.
I don't think Catholicism says Catholics may ask the Orthodox for the sacraments at any time. Nothing really changed in 1983. They may when there is no church or priest of theirs available.
It's not so loosey goosey that people can go to Orthodox clergy at
any time. However, it does allow for people who see a "spiritual advantage" (not simply dying or what have you) receiving sacraments from Orthodox clergy.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Âº2 Whenever necessity requires or a genuine spiritual advantage commends it, and provided the danger of error or indifferentism is avoided, Christ's faithful for whom it is physically or morally impossible to approach a catholic minister, may lawfully receive the sacraments of penance, the Eucharist and anointing of the sick from non-Catholic ministers in whose Churches these sacraments are valid.
In other words, not simply necessity, but "spiritual advantage". It's not the clearest canon, but it seems to not be as narrow as some people interpret it.
What I find curious, is how this jibes with traditional RC teaching regarding "juristiction". According to Catholicism, the Pope ultimatly is the dispenser of all juristiction - if a Bishop has juristiction (and he in turn can give it to his priests), he receives it from the Pope. That "juristiction" gives him the authority to preach and teach, and to licitly administer the sacraments. And more significantly, in some cases, the "validity" of sacraments requires this juristiction. The two RC sacraments that come to mind right away are "Penance"/"Confession" and Holy Matrimony. Neither are viewed as being "valid" without this mentioned "juristiction."
Well, if I'm reading that canon correctly, it's saying that confessions in the Orthodox Church are "valid". Does that mean, as far as the Pope is concerned, he's granting juristiction to the Orthodox world? That perhaps our heirarchs are already "his", even if they don't realize it?
Whatever the case, what is really odd, is that officially the RCC will not provide these same implicit faculties to their own "traditionalists" (thus why many neo-cons in the RCC froth with giddy delight at informing traditionalist sympathizers that no one can have a "valid" confession with a "Lefebvrist" priest...as if they're happy over something like this).
Once again...more politics.